Wednesday, February 22, 2006

 

I need some advice, guys!

Rick and I have taken in a stray cat. Very strange behavior for someone who is allergic to the species, yes, but I’m doing fine. You see, this little girl came into our lives last weekend, when it was 19 degrees outside and snowing and sleeting.

We gave her some food and let her back out when she wanted to leave, but she just kept returning over the next few days. She’s not one of the regular strays, and my neighborhood cat lady says she has never seen this cat. She’s obviously been someone’s pet because she has a collar, doesn’t run from people, and appears happiest when curled up on a lap getting a massage. So I’ve been wondering whether or not she just happened to get out of someone’s house and is lost. At the same time, however, she appears to have a bad flea and worm problem, doesn’t have a name or phone number on her collar, and hasn’t been spayed. So, my next thought is that even if she has owners, they don’t seem to be too good, and maybe we should go ahead and keep her. I mean, let’s say that I put up “Lost Cat” Photos and am contacted by her owner. Why should I think that this time she would be taken care of properly?

So my ethics questions are: What should I do? What comes first, the cat’s welfare or the owner’s right to their cat?

A further complication is how much I like this cat! I’ve never had a cat before, but I’ve fallen for this one. And I fear that my desire to keep her for myself might be clouding my judgment.

We’ve kept the kitty inside for almost two days now, and she seems to like it here. We bought her a food bowl and a litter box. She likes to play with my scrap yarn and has already chewed the end of one of my new DPN’s. My allergies haven’t been as bad as I thought. Usually, not very long after petting a cat, my eyes start to swell shut, I sneeze uncontrollably, and I start to develop red splotches anywhere on my skin that had contact with the cat! Not so this time around. I wash my hands after (almost) every petting session and am not letting her into the bedroom—I don’t think my allergies could handle a cat-hair infested bed. So far, this strategy has worked surprisingly well!

The tentative plan is to keep her. While I feel some guilt about keeping the cat without making an effort to see if she has other owners, Rick feels like her previous owners have already had their chance. Rick has lots of experience in this department, since his mom keeps anywhere from 10-20 cats at a time, so I’m inclined to defer to him on this one. Chronic list-maker that I am, I already have my to-do’s for the cat. I plan to schedule two appointments next week, one with a vet for the kitty and one for me with my own doctor for some prescription antihistamines and corticosteroids—I know the allergies will get worse over time and I want to be prepared! I need to get a scratching post, a collar with our names on it, worm and flea medicine, some cat toys, a cat bed, etc., etc. Next thing you know, I’ll be planning out her secondary schools and writing her applications to college!

I’d appreciate any feedback about this dilemma. I’ve never been in a situation like this and want as many opinions as I can get to help with the decision. I know there are several cat-owners that read this blog. Please let me know what you would do, what you think we should do, etc. Thank you in advance!


Comments:
You should definitely listen to Rick. He sounds like a smart guy!
 
Rick is right!
 
Amanda thinks Rick is right.
 
Have the vet check to see if she is micro-chipped. If not, she is lucky to have a home!
 
Wholeheartedly agreeing with Rick *nods emphatically*

What you do is take her to the vet, get her checked out, notice how the vet agrees that she has not been well taken care of. Check for the microchip and since she wont have one if the previous owners havent bothered to even spay her, congratulate yourself. Itsa girl! You are a mommy :)
 
She is adorable. You should definitely keep her!
 
She looks adorable! You should definitely keep her!
 
I think if you've fallen for her, she's home. I have had a cat 'disappear' (she ran away after I moved to a new part of town) and I always liked to comfort myself with the thought that someone kind might have taken her in....

I also know that some people with cat allergies are okay with certain short haired cats. It sounds weird, but cats skin and hair varies so much and the amount of dander they leave around the house depends on those things. You may have just met your perfect match.

She looks an awful lot like my cat Fannie who is the sweetest cat ever, so I might be just a little bit biased, but I think she'll make a beautiful addition to your family.
 
I'm a big pet lover. I hate seeing babies left out in the cold to fend for themselves. That alone is good reason to find a new home. Congratulations on your new addition!!! What is her name???
(PS it's usually the cat dander a person is allergic to not the cat itself. Baths might be something that will help if it gets bad. If you can get her to cooperate! lol)
 
Oooh Oooh I will help you bathe her if that turns out to be something that will help. Says the former dog-groomer's apprentice :)
 
Apparently, I think Rick is right. And his spelling of a certain green, slender summer squash is far superior to the actual spelling, to be sure.

Cute kwitty kwitty!
 
ps I'd keep that kitty away from Sister Margaret.
 
Sorry I co-opted your support before asking Nanda. I did it out of love. I did it out of necessity. I did it because I'm sneeky. But you see, I gotta kweep the kwitty... Boy! That last sentence is hard to say.

rickus
 
No worries. When you're right, you're right. And you're right. Right?
 
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